Austin, Texas is the 11th-largest city in the United States of America and the fourth-most populous city in the state of Texas. It is the fastest growing of the largest 50 US cities. Austin is also the second largest state capital in the United States, after Phoenix, Arizona. As of July 1, 2014, Austin had a population of 912,791 (U.S. Census Bureau estimate). The city is the cultural and economic center of the Austin–Round Rock metropolitan area, which had an estimated population of 1,943,299 as of July 1, 2014.
In the 1830s, pioneers began to settle the area in central Austin along the Colorado River. After Republic of Texas Vice President Mirabeau B. Lamar visited the area during a buffalo-hunting expedition between 1837 and 1838, he proposed that the republic's capital then located in Houston, Texas, be relocated to the area situated on the north bank of the Colorado River near the present-day Congress Avenue Bridge. In 1839, the site was officially chosen as the republic's new capital (the republic's seventh and final location) and was incorporated under the name Waterloo. Shortly thereafter, the name was changed to Austin in honor of Stephen F. Austin, the "Father of Texas" and the republic's first secretary of state.
The city grew throughout the 19th century and became a center for government and education with the construction of the Texas State Capitol and the University of Texas at Austin. After a lull in growth from the Great Depression, Austin resumed its development into a major city and, by the 1980s, it emerged as a center for technology and business. A number of Fortune 500 companies have headquarters or regional offices in Austin including Advanced Micro Devices, Apple Inc., eBay, Google, IBM, Intel, Texas Instruments, 3M, and Whole Foods Market.
The city includes a diverse mix of government employees, foreign and domestic college students, musicians, high-tech workers, blue-collar workers and business people. The city is home to development centers for many technology corporations; it adopted the "Silicon Hills" nickname in the 1990s. However, the current official slogan promotes Austin as "The Live Music Capital of the World", a reference to the many musicians and live music venues within the area, and the long-running PBS TV concert series Austin City Limits.
Austin has a humid subtropical climate, characterized by hot summers and mild winters. Austin is usually at least partially sunny, receiving nearly 2650 hours, or 60.3% of the possible total, of bright sunshine per year. Austin summers are usually hot, with average July and August highs in the high-90s °F. Winters in Austin are mild and relatively dry. For the entire year, Austin averages 88 days below 45 °F and 13 days when the minimum temperature falls below freezing. Snowfall is rare in Austin.